The purpose of this paper was to investigate the intentions of young consumers to buy second-hand clothing. This topic is of importance because the fast fashion industry is causing great harm to the environment. The production of clothes has many negative consequences for people and the planet, such as clean water contamination, the creation of greenhouse gas emissions and hazardous working conditions. Many of the produced garments go to landfills when they are still wearable. A way to fight these negative consequences is to buy pre-owned clothing. This is more sustainable because it does not require the carbon dioxide emissions necessary for the production and transportation of new garments. The second-hand clothing market is undergoing a rapid expansion, mainly driven by young consumers. It has been suggested that social media influencers are helping to de-stigmatise pre-owned garments by talking about the value of used clothes. In this research the factors that influence the intention to buy second-hand clothes were explored, these factors were based on the theory of planned behaviour by Ajzen (1991). Furthermore, an investigation was conducted on whether the attitude towards second-hand fashion influencers has an impact on the attitude towards second-hand clothing and if this is related to the intention to buy pre-owned garments. Survey results of 173 Dutch and Belgian young adults between 18 and 29 were collected in order to explore what drives people to buy second-hand clothes. Results revealed that many respondents intend to buy second-hand clothes. Their intention was significantly related to perceived behavioural control, subjective norms, attitude towards second-hand clothes and treasure hunting fun. The findings could not prove that attitude towards second-hand fashion influencers impacts the attitude towards second-hand clothes, and no significant effect was found using attitude towards second-hand clothes as a mediator between attitude towards second-hand fashion influencers and intention. However, a further exploration of the data revealed that people who follow second-hand fashion influencers have a more positive attitude towards second-hand and have a greater intention to buy used clothing than people who do not follow second-hand fashion influencers.

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Elisabeth Timmermans
Media, Culture & Society
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Kato Van Roy. (2022, June 27). Exploring the factors influencing the intention to purchase second-hand clothes A study about the intention and behaviour to buy second-hand clothes among young Dutch and Flemish consumers with a focus on the impact of second-hand fashion influencers.. Media, Culture & Society. Retrieved from